MENTAL health group Mind has set up a legal advice network for referring clients to solicitors across the UK.
Six hundred lawyers are taking part in the scheme which is an extension of the charity's free legal help line.
Legal officers Kate Harrison, Camilla Parker and Rhys Davies answer correspondence and two afternoons a week field calls from clients with legal queries.
“We are often asked to take on cases but it is simply not possible,” says Parker.
Instead, Mind will refer clients to a solicitor in the appropriate geographical area who has experience in the appropriate fields.
“We don't just advise on mental health law. We deal with the full range of legal problems including employment, matrimonial, criminal and community care issues,” she says.
“We have not set up a pro bono network, but what it will do is provide a link between those who need legal services and those who provide them.”
Solicitors included in Mind's directory were asked to complete a questionnaire to evaluate their levels of experience.